Book Review~ Playing Without Rules

Title: Playing Without Rules
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Rachelle Ayala
Purchase Links: Amazon
Connect With the Author: Website

A ballplayer's girlfriend hides his daughter from him because she fears he's like his abusive father.

Marcia Powers wants nothing to do with ballplayer Brock Carter, especially after she told him to go away and pursue his dreams. She has more than she can handle with an elderly father, a business to run, and a four-year-old daughter posing as her baby sister.

Brock Carter's back in town to rekindle his romance with Marcia, and this time, he's not letting her run him out of town. Marcia is unable to resist Brock, but determined to keep her secret.

Brock's already lost his heart to Marcia once. Will he lose every dream, including baseball, when he discovers the real reason Marcia sent him away?

Playing without rules is a quick, emotional romance that I quite thoroughly enjoyed reading! This is a second-chance romance about forgiveness and healing.

I usually have a big issue with abusive alpha males, but only because they're always cloaked and played off as romantic and sweet. That's not the case here. In this case the abuse is actually talked about and discussed in a realistic manner. There was an emphasis on recovery and healing. For that, I was appreciative. Not only that, but she address multiple types of abusive and discusses how not only men can be abusers. She pulled this heavy topic off really well without losing any of the romance and steam.

There was one part that at first I didn't particularly like...without giving too much away, let's just say that the infertile part of me wanted to punch Marcia in the face. But then I realized that what she was doing was a very realistic thing that a lot of women do. Though I still don't agree with it, I do think that it's quite a realistic thought to have.

Overall, I think that this is the most realistic romance I've read in quite some time. The characters weren't plucked off the shelf at Romance Heroes-R-Us like so many of them are. They could be you...or your next door neighbor. They're very down-to-earth and dealing with really common issues. I think that's something we don't see often enough. So, way to go, Rachelle on writing about realistically flawed people and relationships! It's refreshing to see.

Sex? Yes.
Language? Yes
Drugs and alcohol? No.
Religion? No.
Anything else? Mentions of abuse. 

Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling Asian American author of dramatic romantic suspense and humorous, sexy contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes hot. She writes emotionally challenging stories but believes in the power of love and hope.

Rachelle is the founder of an online writing group, Romance in a Month, an active member of the California Writer's Club, Fremont Chapter, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has won awards in multicultural and historical romance.

*I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, all opinions are 100% my own.